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Human sperm morphology: what is normal? (South Carolina Academy of Sciences Abstracts).

Debates on how sperm morphology should be evaluated and how it relates to the areas of assisted reproductive technology are nothing new. Even though computer assisted semen analyzers have the capability of rendering objective measurements for sperm movements, their use for assessing sperm morphology is time consuming, dependent on the staining method chosen and subject to operator influence. Therefore, we still relay on the andrologist to perform manual sperm morphology evaluation assessments. These evaluation assessments need to be accurate and precise to allow the clinician to make critical decisions regarding patient treatment. The objectives of this study were two fold: 1) to determine the normal range for sperm morphology in 20 men who had fathered a child in the last two years, and 2) to compare repeatability between seasoned and novice technicians for sperm morphology assessment evaluation. Preparations of washed sperm were standardized for concentration and then smears were made on microscope slides in a manner similar to that for blood smears. Once smears were dry, slides were sequentially labeled, again with Wright's stain, and randomly selected for analysis. We read each slide in duplicate, paused for a week, re-randomized the slides and re-evaluated. This process was repeated once more so that all sides were read a total of six times (duplicates times three). The percent normal range for sperm morphology as reported by our seasoned evaluators was 9.3 to 11.9. Means for percent normal sperm across all subjects by seasoned (n = 2) and novice (n = 3) evaluators were 10.5, 10.8 vs 7.3, 7.9 and 15.0, respectively. In conclusion, seasoned evaluators read slides more consistently than their novice counterparts.
H. Lee Higdon, III, William R. Boone
Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Greenville Hospital System
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Author:Higdon, H. Lee, III; Boone, William R.
Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5SC
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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